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Quick Review: Finemondo (Downtown DC)

1319 F St NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 737-3100

I ate at Finemondo a week ago while in DC for the Nationwide Health Information Network Forum. It was a long day for a last day of a meeting where things usually taper down by midday. I was able to stack a couple meetings in the afternoon, finishing off with a late conference call. No lunch. Starving for Italian. A couple shakes on the ol' iPhone and thank you, Urbanspoon.

Finemondo is billed as a country italian kitchen and is warm and friendly. Just around the corner from the Marriott at Metro Center and close enough to make it in the light rain without a coat and not be soaked. I was able to get a table for one, and not one of those tables you hide away in a corner. It was busy but not overwhelmingly loud. You could have a conservation without raising your voice. You could, unless you were sauced on your 5th glass of wine, in which case you were bellowing at your poor dining companion.

Being quite in need of food, I ordered an iced tea, hoovered some warm bread, and selected fried mozzarella as a starter. It was a very creative presentation with the appearance of toast. Good, although the breading was uneven and a little thick for my taste. Form over function. I was trying only to eat half. I failed.

Next was a rather pedestrian Caesar salad, about which I can only say that there was far too much dressing but was not too fishy. Which I appreciated.

Wanting baked pasta, it came down to either lasagna with meat ragu or the cannelloni stuffed with pork (sausage), spinach, and dried porcini mushrooms. I went with the house recommendation for the cannelonni. It was encrusted with parmesan, which in turn was baked to a golden brown. Very attractive presentation but again, function followed form. The filling was very savory, and the oregano was not too pronounced, which I again thought was nicely done. But unfortunately, the thin fine pasta was first abused by the baked-on cheese, rendering the entirety of the top surface too cheesy and too crunchy, and then it was drowned in a sauce which was again far too cheesy. How do I know the pasta was good? I extracted the scarce, unsullied, unabused bits from within. Now, don't get me wrong. I do like cheese. I ordered mozarella as a appetizer. But this was too much cheese between crust and sauce. It was good, but not spectacular, and certainly could have been better.

One of the gentleman to my left who spent the evening talking about contracting issues with the navy had the chicken parmigiana which was thinly breaded and served with what appeared to be a nice medley of fresh green veggies, at least that is what it sounded like from the crunch crunch crunch. He was the dinner companion of Dines-With-Much-Wine, who looked to be having the loin of pork, roasted with rosemary sauce and roasted potatoes.

I saw enough otherwise appealing food being delivered to other patrons that I will probably return I try something that is not recommended by the waitstaff. But I was not overwhelmed.

Didn't get my iced tea, either.

Rating: 3/5

Finemondo on Urbanspoon